Late on March 16, 2021, a horrific incident took place in which an armed individual went through three Asian massage parlors, killing eight people with gunfire before being caught and detained by police. Even before this event, hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities were on the notable rise, prompting an initiative behind the hashtag #StopAsianHate. Following the shooting in Georgia, Sony and Xbox are the latest major forces in the gaming community to step forth in offering support to the initiative and AAPI communities.
Both gaming giants made statements on March 17, 2021 following news of the incident in Atlanta, Georgia. Phil Spencer spoke on behalf of Xbox, which retweeted his statement while Sony Interactive Entertainment also launched its own statement soon after with links to the Stop AAPI Hate website where educational resources and charities for support of AAPI communities have been gathered. Sony and Xbox follow closely behind Bandai Namco, which formally announced its support of the #StopAsianHate initiative just prior to the Atlanta shooting on the same day.
Hate has no home on Xbox. Team Xbox is appalled by the violence and racism against Asian communities. For all Asian players and peers, I want you to know that we see you, we hear you, and we will and must do more together to #StopAsianHate.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 17, 2021
The incident in Atlanta has been a powderkeg of online conversation in relation to the #StopAsianHate conversation and initiative. Though Atlanta police refused to dub the incident a hate crime or racially motivated, the perpetrator did indeed target specifically three Asian massage parlors, killing six Asian women among the eight victims.
The #StopAsianHate initiative grew out of concern over the increase in hate crimes against AAPI communities, particularly elderly people and seemingly in relation to misinformation and misconceptions in certain news cycles and social media about the COVID-19 pandemic. A constant centerpoint of right wing mockery throughout the last year, the issues surrounding this matter continue even despite the banning of constant vocal perpetrator Donald Trump from social media.
We are troubled by a recent pattern of violence targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. It’s time to take action.— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 17, 2021
SIE is making a donation to Stop AAPI Hate, and we hope you can too. Learn how you can help here: https://t.co/vVdvczmgme
There is little reason to believe the incident in Atlanta, Georgia can be separated from the issues caused by the misinformation and resulting sentiments from COVID-19, but at the very least, Sony and Xbox joining the #StopAsianHate initiative continues to spread the word about this growing concern.
If you wish to support or learn more about the facts behind the #StopAsianHate initiative, there is growing compendium of information in relation to the ongoing issue. There are also various directories to donate to and support AAPI communities. As powerful a force as gaming is in the world at large, hopefully with Xbox and PlayStation behind the initiative, more major forces in the gaming industry are soon to follow.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Sony & Xbox join in support of AAPI communities & #StopAsianHate initiative
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